Do you remember what it’s like working at an office? For some of us, going back to the office may be a pipedream. Whether we ‘love it’ or ‘loathe it,’ working from home is the new normal for the foreseeable future. While the home office maybe your dining room table and you’re going to work in your PJ’s, the situation can take on a “Groundhog Day” feel. Repeating that same routine can become a little monotonous.
The flexibility of working at home can prove to be challenging; there are no co-workers but you’re your own worst enemy. You lose your inhibitions to get shit done in a timely manner and the debate of getting out of your three-day old pyjamas can be a long conversation.
All it takes is a little adjustment to your game to help you get the most out of your day. Check out our productivity hacks below to help you stay focused.
Let there be Great Lighting
Even Michelangelo did his best work under the right light. You may not be a Renaissance Man, but the right type of lighting will change how you work. Working in the dark can lead to all types of health issues from eye strain, migraine headaches and even in some cases depression. Whether you are at home or in the office, it’s not prison. Opening a window and letting in the natural light is a sure-fire way to increase the productivity juices.
Clean up the Clutter
My grandmother’s advice was always to make my bed and do the dishes, it was the sure sign of an organised person and a clean house. The same advice applies to your workspace at home or the office. Block out the time in the diary before you start work to clean up the mess off the desk before you start your day. Remember everything at home is something that can take away your focus. A few minutes each day to clean up can make the world of difference.
Studies have shown that different scents can change our mood and affect our productivity. Cinnamon has been proven to improve focus and increase productivity. Pine improves alertness and the smell of coffee has been shown to improve reasoning skills.
While oils and scented candles are normally reserved for date night, they can also prove to be more than useful in improving the productivity levels in the home office.
Consider a home office repainting
Like smells, colours can also play with your emotions. I had a colleague who had to spend his days staring at a bright orange wall behind his monitor. At the office, you won’t have a say over the direction of the interior design, but you can take control at home. If you are not in the mood for re-painting a wall, then look into hanging some art or photos that will keep you focuses. A little colour can go a long way to brightening your mood.
Go Green and bring in a plant or three
After dogs, a plant or two could be man’s next best friend. A plant in the home office adds colour to the space and brings in some fresh air. A plant offers something else to look at when you can step away from your laptop.
It’s a little too quiet
Those familiar sounds of the office can be a great motivator, while for some the quiet can be a major distraction. If you are missing the sounds of the office, invest in a great Spotify list or go one further you can download the sounds of the office or coffee shop to make you feel like you are outside. There’s no wrong answer, people respond differently to sounds and you need to your happy place.
A breath of fresh air can make a difference
Unless you are a Hunter S Thompson, ten-pack a day man, you want clean around your desk. The environment that you are in will change the way you will work. Bad air quality leads to all types of sickness and the easiest solution is to open the window or invest in an air filter.
Stay hydrated while you work
All of us have missed the office coffee machine at least once in our professional careers. It’s important to stay hydrated while you are working. From coffee to all sorts of herbal teas, have an easy to reach refreshment stocked in the kitchen. It will get you away from your computer, break up your day and lead you to getting more stuff done.
Limit the access to your phone
Mobile devices are the biggest productivity killers in the office or at home. Most phones now have a silent mode and it’s time to take advantage. As much as we want to believe that we can multi-task, the human brain can simply not do it. Turn the notifications off the phone, get your work done and then go back to Candy Crush.